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                Guest For  TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2008



                        FRANS C. VERHAGEN Ph.D



                     Sustainability Sociologist

                            Founding President:


             NY Chapter Earth Charter Alliance 


                                           www.ccny.org *

                      (*See "Coming up at Community" at site)


                                           (718) 275-3932


The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:   

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g8zdax-X3I - FRANS  C. VERHAGEN



More about:



Environmental/sustainability sociologist

Director Sustainability Education and Research

Earth and Peace Education Associates International (EPE)


97-37 63rd Rd. #15E                                               

Rego Park, New York 11374                           

Tel:  718  275 3932

Fax:  718  275 3932

Cell: 917 617 6217

E-Mail: gaia1@rcn.com


Summer 2007



Ph.D. in Sociology-- specializations in international development, the sociology of organizations, social change, social theory and philosophy  (Columbia University) 1979.      Dissertation: Conformity and Unconformity: The Relationship of 100 American Voluntary   Aid and Development Organizations towards the U.S. Government and Transnational Corporations.

Masters in International Affairs with Certificate in African Studies (Columbia University) 1974.

Masters in Divinity (SMA & Augustinian Colleges) 1963 and (Nijmegen University) 1968.

Advanced Certificate in International Development: NUFFIC (Netherlands University                              Federation For International Cooperation) (Nijmegen University) 1969.

Licenses for Day High Schools in New York City and New York

           State: Social Studies, General Science, and Earth Science, 1989, 1995.


Dutch (native language)   English (second language) German (good) French (fair) Twi (fair) reading knowledge of classical Greek and Latin


Sustainability Fellow at the Green Institute, Washington, D.C., appointed December 2006

Visiting professor on sustainable communities at Pace University, Spring 2006, followed by an appointment as an adjunct associate professor of sustainable communities, fall 2006-present

Adjunct associate professor of sustainable aviation at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Fall 2003-present

Representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s UN Office.

Dr. Verhagen worked for the NYC Board of Education from September 1986 to July 1, 2003, when he left his post to work full time as Director of Sustainability Education and Research for Earth and Peace Education Associates International (EPE). During his years teaching Regents Earth Science, he wrote a review guide for NY State Regents Competency Test in Science for the Board (1986-87) and a report on the level of Earth literacy in NYC public Intermediate and Junior High schools (1988); together with the funded research department of Community School District 18 in Brooklyn developed a $1.5 million proposal for an Earth Community School to be funded by the NY State Education Department (1990-91) and materials and activities for an Earth and Peace Literacy Perspective to be included in the  Environmental Awareness unit of the Regents Earth Science curriculum;  established and chaired an ad hoc steering committee to look into the feasibility of forming a Sustainability Education Office in New York City (1996 – present)

Before joining the Board of Education, Dr. Verhagen worked as assistant director of the lighting program in the NY City Energy Office (1979-80); taught courses on Energy and Society at Cooper Union and Hunter College (1979-1981) and on environmental policies for engineering and architect students at the New York Institute of Technology (1986- 1996). In the early 80’s,  he founded Sociological Energy Services International, consulting on the social aspects of energy.

Dr. Verhagen has also been active in civic organizations. He established the Ecology Task Force at the Riverside Church in Manhattan (1989). As chair of the Ecology Task Force he organized activities that led to the Riverside Church Declaration on Becoming an Earth Community Church; organized a national conference on Religion and Ecology in 1989 featuring invited speakers Thomas Berry (geologian), Hazel Henderson (economist) Jay McDaniel (process theologian); represented the Church at the Rio Earth Summit in June 1992 and served as founding member of the International Coordinating Committee for Religion and Earth (ICCRE) that brought the world religions to the Earth Summit.

For ten years (1989-99) he chaired the Queens Green Party, the first local of the green movement in NY State, which he founded in 1989. He produced and hosted a monthly one-hour TV program dealing with the fundamentals of environmentalism, as part of the Party’s educational outreach (1989 – 1999) and has recently started a new series entitled “Sustainable Living”, sponsored by EPE. In 1998, he became president of Sane Aviation for Everyone (SAFE, Inc), a local coalition of civic groups that is working for a sustainable, equitable and accountable aviation industry which he co-founded (www.metronyaviation.org) and in April 2002 he accepted the presidency of Citizens Aviation Watch, the national coalition of civic groups with goals similar to SAFE’s (www.us-caw.org )

Before coming to the USA in 1970, Dr. Verhagen worked as a member of the Dutch Province of the Society of African Missions (1963-8) in Ghana-West Africa, where he was engaged in pastoral activities, teaching and rural development activities. 


The following describe selected projects related to sustainability research and education.

The Earth and Peace Literacy Perspective

  1. Analysis of the surveys of 8th graders in a New York City Junior High School in the beginning and at the end of two school years, 2001-3
  2. Analysis of the likes, dislikes and hopes of 8th graders gathered at the beginning of the school years from 1990 to 2003.
  3. Book-length publication entitled “Give Back the Earth: A Resource Guide for Sustainability Education for the Middle Grades” with, possibly, a video series that focuses on the Earth Charter (in process).

Patriotism Research and Education

Ongoing research started during the 3-month period after September 11, 2001 to measure the response of the educational establishment to 9/11 and to determine the link between

civic and character education with sustainability education


Sustainability and Peace Institute (SPI) in Sierra Leone

This project aims to become a model that would link sustainability and peace activities—research, education and action—for rural areas in African countries. The originators of the SPI/Sierra Leone, for which land is already acquired, are Dr. Verhagen and Dr. Thomas Turay,

Earth Charter Adoption by the NY City Council and Administration

As  an official facilitator of the Earth Charter,  Dr. Verhagen has established an Ad Hoc Steering Committee for the endorsement of Earth Charter by the NY City government.

Sustainable Aviation Research and Education

1.     Wrote a position paper for the national coalition of citizens groups working for sustainable, equitable and accountable aviation industry as a basis for goal setting and strategy planning and implementation

2.     Development of a graduate course on sustainable aviation and transportation (in process)


Sociologists and Energy. Journal of Energy Engineers, June/July, 13-53. (1982).

Social Performance Planning For The U.S. Energy Industry: A Major Challenge to Strategic

Planners. Strategic Planning and Energy Management, Fall,50-55, (1984).

 QUOTE EN.REFLIST Ecolinguistics: Context, Contours, Constraints, and Challenges. New York City: Sociological

Energy Services International (1991)

Ecolinguistics and Multicultural Societies: Contributing to Commonality and Comity. Paper presented at the AILA 10th International World Congress, Amsterdam.(1993)

Aviation: An Environmentalist Agenda (SESI Aviation Policy Report). New York: Sociological

Energy Services International  (1994).

Language, Environment, Ideology:  A History From Neolithic Times Onwards. Paper presented

at the AILA 11th World Congress Proceedings, Jyvaskyla, Finland  (1996).

The Earth Community School: A Back-to-Basics Model of Secondary Education. Green

Teacher, fall, 28-33 (1999a).

Unity and Diversity in Nature and Nations: An Ecolinguistic Exploration. AILA XII Proceedings


Ecolinguistics: A Retrospective and A Prospective. In H. P. Bernhard Ketteman (Ed.), Festschrift

Fill 2000. Tuebingen, Germany (2000a).

The Earth Community School (ECS) Model of Secondary Education: Contributing to Sustainable

Societies and Thriving Civilizations. Social Alternatives, 21(1), 11-18  (2002).

The Contextual Sustainability Framework: Educating for a Culture of Social and Ecological Peace, Chapter 2 in Wenden, Anita L. Educating for A Culture of Social and Ecological Peace, SUNY Press, 2004

Resources: A Peace Perspective in UNESCO Encyclopedia, 2005



Sustainable Communities Workshop: Comparing  Smart Growth, New Urbanism and Eco-village Movements, early June  2007, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sustainable Communities Workshop at the US Society of Ecological Economists’ Biannual Conference, late June 2007,  Pace University, New York City.

Contextual Sustainability Education: Educating for a Culture of Social and Ecological Peace. Interactive workshop presented at the International Institute in Peace Education, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon. 2001.

Contextual Sustainability and Art: Strengthening the Relationship. NY City Art Teachers Association (NYCATA), November 2000

Contextual Sustainability and the Science Curriculum: Ways of Reconnecting. Presented to the Science Teachers Organization of NY City, November 1999

 Earth Literacy Education: The Challenge of the 21rst Century. Presented to the faculty of the Earth School, Lower East Side, Manhattan, September 1991

PAPERS (not listed above)

Patriotism in US public Schools after September 11: The Challenge of the Earth Charter.  Paper presented at Ecology and Peace Commission of the 19th General Conference of the International Peace Research Association, Suwon, Korea. July 2002.

The Earth Community School (ECS) Model of Secondary Education: Peace Education for the 21rst Century. Paper presented at the 18th General Conference of the International Peace Research Association, Tampere, Finland. August, 2000

Contextual sustainability and Globalization: Connections and Challenges. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Global Awareness Society International. New York, New York. May 1999.

Contextual Sustainability: Context, Contours, Constraints and Challenges.  Paper presented at the 1998 Conference of the Peace Studies Association and the Consortium on Peace, Research, Education and Development (COPRED), Kansas, 1998


Organized colloquia on the topic of ecology and peace at the international conferences of the International Peace Research Association (2002) and of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (1993, 1996, 1999).

Organized a Sustainable Communities session for the US Society of Ecological Economics’s Annual Conference, Pace University, June 2007


American Educational Research Association (AERA)

International Ecolinguistics Network

International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

Peace Education Commission (PEC, IPRA), member

Ecology and Peace Commission (EPC, IPRA), co-convener

North American Environmental Education Association (NAEEA)

National Middle School Association (NMSA)


Earth Charter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental values and principles from Earth Charter International that it considers as necessary for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. Created by a large global consultation process, and endorsed by thousands of organizations representing millions of individuals, the Earth Charter stated purpose is to inspire in all peoples a sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family and the larger living world. It calls upon humanity to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history. The Earth Charter's ethical vision proposes that environmental protection, human rights, equitable human development, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides a new framework for thinking about and addressing these issues.



[edit] History

The idea of a Charter originated in 1987, when the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development called for a new charter to guide the transition to sustainable development. In 1992, the need for a charter was urged by then-Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, but the time for such a declaration was not right. The Rio Declaration became the statement of the achievable consensus at that time. In 1994, Maurice Strong (Chairman of the Earth Summit) and Mikhail Gorbachev, working through organizations they each founded (Earth Council and Green Cross International respectively), restarted the Earth Charter as a civil society initiative, with the help of the Government of the Netherlands. The initial drafting and consultation process drew on hundreds of international documents.[citation needed]

[edit] Drafting of the Charter

The Earth Charter was created through an open and participatory worldwide consultation process. Many thousands of people and hundreds of organizations contributed to the drafting process. The drafting of the text was overseen by the independent Earth Charter Commission, which was convened by Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev with the purpose of developing a global consensus on values and principles for a sustainable future. The Commission continues to serve as the steward of the Earth Charter text.

The Earth Charter was completed in March 2000 and launched in a special ceremony at The Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, on 29 June 2000. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attended the ceremony. The Charter has since then been formally endorsed by thousands of organizations representing millions of people, including the UNESCO Conference of Member States, the World Conservation Union of IUCN, national government ministries, national and international associations of universities, and hundreds of cities and towns in dozens of countries. It has also been endorsed by tens of thousands of individuals, and publicly supported by numerous heads of state.

[edit] Preamble to the Earth Charter

We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

[edit] General Principles

The Earth Charter urges environmental responsibility, peaceful coexistence, respect for life, democracy, and justice. It is organized into 16 general headings, each covering a general principle, as follows:

  1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
  2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion and love.
  3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable and peaceful.
  4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
  5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
  6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
  7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights and community well-being.
  8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
  9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social and environmental imperative.
  10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
  11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care and economic opportunity.
  12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
  13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision-making, and access to justice.
  14. Integrate into formal education and lifelong learning the knowledge, values and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
  15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
  16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence and peace.

[edit] Reaction

The Earth Charter has been publicly endorsed, recognized, or supported by people and organizations across a wide range of the political spectrum, from conservative to liberal, as well as from all major religious traditions.[citation needed] It has received support from business corporations, grassroots activists, universities, governments, and global non-governmental organizations.[citation needed] Overall, reaction to the document can be characterized as overwhelmingly positive.

However, the Charter has also received opposition from many groups and governments. For example, in the United States and other countries, members of religious groups, such as the Religious Right have objected to the document on the grounds that it is secular, and espouses socialism. Some groups go so far as to complain that it contains no reference to the doctrines of Judeo-Christianity.[citation needed] In addition, some conservatives cite an informal comment by Mikhail Gorbachev that the document is "a kind of Ten Commandments", and point to the fact that at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, a copy of the document was placed symbolically in an "Ark of Hope" -- an independent project by the American artist Sally Linder. Some members of the American Religious Right infer from these incidents that the Charter is a proposed replacement for the Ten Commandments, and part of a conspiracy to establish a New World Government that replaces National Sovereignty.

Earth Charter International, the organization responsible for promoting the Charter, argues in its literature that the Earth Charter is respectful and inclusive of all religious traditions. They state that the Charter itself makes no statements to support these claims of intent to supplant any of the world's religions or to create a world government. In their opinion, the Charter is simply a statement of common ethical values that recognises humanity's shared responsibility to the Earth and to each other. It is similar, in this respect, to the work of Jacques Maritain, who discovered that all human beings could agree on basic values, regardless of the many disparate beliefs that backed them.

Some Libertarians also express numerous critiques of the Charter, including a concern that the Charter's language calling for 'economic justice' is equivalent to espousing socialism. But the Charter's leadership has stated that it does not adhere to any specific political ideology, and support for the Earth Charter has come from both traditionally "left" and "right"-leaning political leaders, in many countries.

[edit] Earth Charter Youth Initiative

The Earth Charter Youth Initiative (ECYI) (http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/youth/) is a network of young activists, youth NGOs, and partners who share a common interest in sustainable development and the Earth Charter.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links



                                 Tuesday September 23, 2008

                                 10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

                 Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 82 of the RCN 
                       Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at


                  NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

                                          & click on channel 34 at site


                                    241 West 36th StreetNew York,N.Y. 10018 Phone: 212-695-6351 E-Mail: HHC@NYC.RR.COM


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